There is no right or wrong way to sit on your bike; you might be perfectly happy with your current riding position. Whilst we can’t provide one perfect riding position to fit all types of rider, there are a few top tips we can suggest to better improve your comfort and posture.
If you’re thinking, “hang on a minute, I’m perfectly comfortable with the way I’m set up now”, here are three advantages of maintaining the correct cycling position:
/ Greater comfort
/ More efficient riding
/ Improved bike handling
Before we take a look at each part of the bike, it’s most important when choosing the right bike from the offset! At Halfords we tailor each bike to you, so that everything from frame size to handlebar height is just to your liking. If you’re looking to change or upgrade your current model, forgo the guess work and pop in to see us at your local store.
Now let’s get down to the detail…
If you rock back and forth in the saddle then it’s too high
To set your saddle height, attach your bike to a turbo trainer or hold on to a wall with one hand – just make sure the bike’s straight. Then place your heel on the pedal and pedal backwards to reach the ‘six o’clock’ position. Your knee shouldn’t be bent; if it is you’ll need to increase the height bit by bit until your leg is completely straight.
If you sometimes struggle from knee pain during or after riding, chances are that your seat position is either too far forward or too far back. When seated with your feet on the pedals, your knee should be parallel to the pedal axle when the pedal is perfectly horizontal. If it’s not and you struggle to reach this position no matter how much you adjust your seat, you could have the wrong size bike.
Reach is the distance between the shoulders and top brake levers when you’re sitting in an upright position. Sitting ‘correctly’, set reach should allow you to sit at around 45 degrees to the top tube of the cycle. If you feel like you’re straining, you can adjust the reach by moving the handlebar stem until you feel comfortable in the above position.
Your handlebars should be positioned slightly lower than the top of the saddle, so that your elbows are bent and forearms horizontal to aid shock reduction from the road.
As a general rule of thumb (or foot), the ball of your foot should be over the pedal spindle to produce maximum efficiency and reduce the risk of injury. Whilst wearing bike shoes, cleats positioned too far forward on the shoe can mean you overwork your ankles and could eventually lead to strain on your achilles.